Demolition begins downtown to make way for glitzy condo tower

Dec 8, 2014
Austin Business Journal

The wrecking crews descended this week on the former headquarters of the Texas Press Association at 718 W. Fifth St


With it, a little bit of history will be reduced to rubble and replaced by a gleaming high-rise condominium tower


"We owned that building for more than 40 years," said Mike Hodges, executive director of the Texas Press Association, which moved out at the end of the summer


Austin-based Riverside Resources purchased the site and is building Fifth & West, a 39-story condo tower that will be one of the tallest buildings in the city when it's finished in fall 2017. Click on the photo to see a slideshow of the site and renderings of the new tower


Demolition is expected to take 15 working days, according to project spokesman Scott Dunaway


A general contractor for the new tower was named Friday: a joint venture of Gilbane Building Co. and Rogers-O'Brien Construction


Dallas-based GDA Architects is the lead architect. That company also designed The Whitley apartments in downtown Austin, which Riverside Resources developed and sold for a record amount earlier this year


Michael Hsu, Austin's high-profile "starchitect," is designing the interiors


Dallas-based StudioOutside is handling landscaping. Austin-based Moreland Properties is the broker for the 154 residences that will range in size from about 900 square feet for a one-bedroom unit to about 2,700 square feet for a three-bedroom unit. A 5,200-square-foot penthouse will be available


Prices begin at $500,000. A limited release of units have been reserved, he said


The website includes some impressive virtual view technology. The Seventh Art in New York designed the site with an assist from Austin-based Accent Aerial Photography


For-sale condo units have been increasingly scarce downtown as for-lease apartments have dominated construction activity. For example, the condominium tower being built as part of the Seaholm LLC mixed-use development has been sold out for some time with numerous would-be buyers left on a waiting list



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